The semi-finals are set
Two Canadians were in quarter-final action on Friday at the 11th edition of the Gatineau Futures presented by the Turpin Group, National Bank Financial. Sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the tournament, which offers $25, 000 U.S. in total prize money, will be held from February 24 to March 4, 2018 at the Sporthèque in Gatineau.
In the second quarter-final match of the day, Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON), currently ranked no. 346, took on the Frenchman Florian Lakat, who came through the qualifying round to secure his spot in the main draw. Despite being up a break in the first set, the Canadian was unable to close it out and eventually dropped the set in a tiebreak. Dancevic showed resilience and was able to bring the match to a deciding set, marking the first time the 33-year-old required a third set since the start of the tournament. In the decider, the players exchanged breaks before Lakat took the lead for the first time and didn’t look back. Although he saved one match point with an incredible passing shot, Dancevic was unable to replicate the feat and ultimately fell to Lakat 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 6-4.
Dancevic was playing in his first tournament since losing in the second round of qualifications at the Australian Open earlier in January. He was looking to reach his first semi-final since last September at the Columbus Challenger in September. The Canadian’s last title dates back to 2016 when he took home the honours at the Toronto Futures.
The second Canadian in action on Friday was Samuel Monette (Montreal, QC) who had the tough task of opposing the tournament’s top seed Dominik Koepfer of Germany. After going down an early break in the first, the 24-year-old Canadian was able to level the score late in the set, much to the delight of the crowd. He was unable, however, to hold off his heavy hitting opponent who took the set in a tiebreak in just under an hour. Monette then took control of the match midway through the second and leveled the score. In the decider, it was a tight battle until the German took advantage of a late break and defeated the Canadian 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-2.
On Saturday, Lakat will play the American Strong Kirchheimer, who defeated his compatriot Danny Thomas earlier in the day. Both players came from the qualifying round and caused upsets early on, eliminating the tournament’s second seed and seventh seed, respectively. The second semi-final match will see Ugo Humbert of France take on Dominik Koepfer of Germany. The doubles final will also take place on Saturday and will oppose Lakat and his partner Ronnie Schneider of the United States against the American duo of JC Aragone and Deiton Baughman.
The first singles match will start at 11 a.m. with the second semi-final scheduled to start around 12:30 p.m. which will be followed by the doubles final at around 2 p.m.
The Gatineau Futures presented by the Turpin Group, National Bank Financial, is the first in a series of three tournaments that will be played in Quebec during the months of February and March. The event will be followed by the Sherbrooke Futures and the Drummondville National Bank Challenger.
Feature photo : Guy Deschênes